AI Hype Over? Startup Investors Announce Serious Plan for Artificial Intelligence

Feb 5, 2017 | 1359 Views

Investors pledge to provide entrepreneurs with hard-to-get resources


Y Combinator, the San Francisco startup accelerator which fostered Airbnb and Dropbox, announced a new program Sunday for its next round of investments that will focus on AI-related startup companies.

‚??We want to level the playing field for startups to ensure that innovation doesn‚??t get locked up in large companies like Google or Facebook,‚?? wrote Y Combinator partner Daniel Gross, who worked at Apple and ran personal planning startup Cue before becoming a Y Combinator partner three months ago.

Gross explained that despite AI technology going through what many call the hype cycle of unrealistic expectations, the technology is showing real bottom-line results in many fields:

‚??From analyzing legal documents to spotting tumors, computers are producing better results than humans. Just like software helped streamline businesses, AI will further reduce costs and improve the quality of many tasks across every industry. This could be anything from helping farmers plant better to providing everyone with free machine-powered psychologists.‚??

Y Combinator‚??s management clearly believes that there‚??s big money to be made by the right AI idea‚??‚??‚??the kind made through true improvement in lives or businesses, rather than zany stock market valuations. But AI research can be costly and take years.

To that end, Gross pledged resources that Y Combinator thinks could give two-person startups a chance against the deep R&D budgets at Facebook, Google and other established tech megafirms‚??‚??‚??which were once scrappy startups themselves, funded by long-term believers like Y Combinator.

The program will include critical resources many startup entrepreneurs have trouble finding or affording‚??‚??‚??engineers with experience in machine learningavailable to help solve problems, cloud computing credits for computation-heavy AI applications, and talks by leaders in the various sub-sectors of artificial intelligence, who might otherwise be too busy to talk to two kids with a dream.

We‚??ve asked Y Combinator for more details and will update this story if they respond.

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Source: Chatbot Magazine